Update on HB 1183

Posted on Jan 28 2008 in Uncategorized by

HB 1183 was heard this evening at 5 p.m. in the House Education subcommittee. I attended the meeting along with Scott Price and Parrish Mort from the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers and Scott Woodruff of HSLDA. Membership of this Committee (members that were present are in bold): Fralin (chairman), Landes, Gilbert, Athey, Pogge, Massie, Ebbin, Shannon, Tyler, Morrissey.

HB 1183 was the third bill heard on the docket. The substitute was unanimously adopted.

Del. Lingamfelter noted: “This is a bill that will take some of the pressure off of the superintendent by giving homeschoolers more options in evaluating homeschool progress. Virginia is one of the stingiest states in giving only one clear-cut type of assessment. This bill gives homeschool families options for assessment.”

Scott Woodruff gave a brief testimony for the purpose and language of this bill.

Del. Fralin asked, “What happens when the student does not meet the superintendent’s requirements?” Woodruff responded that this could result in a family no longer being able to home educate their children.

Woodruff gave examples of superintendents not accepting certified tutors’ evaluations in Virginia Beach and Alexandria. Del. Ebbin asked if the superintendent is required to give reasons for not accepting a student. Woodruff responded that the superintendent is not necessarily required to give reasons.

I addressed the subcommittee along with Virginia Homeschoolers. We both communicated that our two organizations supported the legislation.

Ebbin asked if such a bill would allow teachers and tutors in other states to evaluate Virginia students. Mort responded that there are currently teachers and tutors in other states who do evaluate Virginia homeschoolers. Woodruff said that all of the options offered in the bill are present in other states.

Del. Morrisey said he was inclined to support this bill. However, he added that he asked homeschoolers to give him evidence that they are making adequate progress; he was also troubled that such standardized tests were not often present. Del. Lingamfelter responded that homeschoolers are doing very, very well as an educational group.

Pogge moved to report.

All present voted to report except for Ebbin.

That’s all for now!

Ben

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